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OINA 2017: Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Semi-Finalists to be Announced at Oceanology International North America’s ‘Catch the Next Wave’ Conference

Press release   •   Feb 09, 2017 14:34 GMT

Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE
  • Expert teams developing breakthrough technologies for rapid and unmanned ocean exploration to progress to next round of $7 million global competition next week 

San Diego/London, February 9 2017 – Dr. Jyotika Virmani, a senior director at XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit innovation engine, will announce the semi-finalists of the $7 Million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE during ‘Catch the Next Wave’ (CTNW), the future-focused conference taking place on the final day of Oceanology International North America (OINA) at the San Diego Convention Centre next week (February 14-16).

The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is a global, three-year competition challenging teams to advance breakthrough technologies for rapid and unmanned ocean exploration. It is part of XPRIZE’s 10-year Ocean Initiative – a commitment made to launch five multi-million dollar prizes by 2020 to address critical ocean challenges and inspire innovation that helps create an ocean that is healthy, valued and understood.

Up to 25 semi-finalists chosen from the 32 teams currently participating in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE will be announced during the Catalysing Innovation CTNW conference session on February 16th. Semi-finalists will move forward to Round 1 testing starting in September 2017, where their entries will need to reach depths of 2000m and produce high-resolution images from the deep-sea as they race to map a 500 km2 area. Qualifying teams will move onto Round 2, with September 2018 deep-sea tests challenging the teams to operate their solutions at depths of 4000m. The winning team will be announced in December 2018.

“Creation, innovation and exploration drive scientific discovery and technological advancement. The synergies we see in the technologies highlighted at Oceanology International North America and Catch the Next Wave drive these advancements and will truly change our understanding of the marine realm,” said Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., prize lead of the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE and senior director of XPRIZE’s Planet and Environment domain. “At this meeting, XPRIZE will be announcing the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE semi-finalist teams and the diversity of next generation technologies moving into the first round of deep-sea testing.”

XPRIZE semi-finalists will also have a shot at a $1 Million bonus prize established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which will incentivize teams to pioneer underwater sensing technologies that detect biological and chemical signals and trace their source. This will allow development of rapid emergency response in addition to discovery and monitoring of new marine life and underwater communities in ways that never existed before.

Historically a standalone event, the fourth edition of the one-day Catch The Next Wave conference has been incorporated into the OINA agenda as an addition to the final day of a strong conference program and exhibition, which has attracted the leading experts and professionals from the North American and global ocean science and marine technology communities to attend the event at the first OINA in San Diego next week.

This edition of CTNW, which is delivered in association with UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography has a very special focus, with VIP guest, ocean science pioneer and ‘living legend’ Walter H. Munk in attendance. During the year of his 100th birthday, the renowned Scripps oceanographer Walter Munk will be honored for his outstanding contribution to ocean science and technology.

In addition to the XPRIZE semi-finalists announcement, the Catalysing Innovation session at CTNW will also feature several other industry prizes, including The Society for Underwater Technology Oceanography Prize, The Vincent Cardone Memorial Prize for Marine Meteorology and The Oceanology Lifetime Achievement Award.

Find out more about the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE here:

The full CTNW agenda is available here:

More exhibitor information and the full OINA conference schedule can be found here:

OINA conference and exhibition visitors can register here:


For further information, please contact:

Maria Harper

Marketing Manager, Energy & Marine Group

Reed Exhibitions

Tel: +44 (0)20 8910 7007

Jules Riegal/Karen Bartlett

Saltwater Stone

Tel: +44 (0)1202 669244

Eric Desatnik / Jackie Wei

XPRIZE Foundation

Tel: 310 741 4892 / 310 741 4918 /

About the Oceanology International Portfolio

The Oceanology International portfolio of events offer a global forum where industry, academia and government share knowledge and connect with the marine technology and ocean science community, improving their strategies for measuring, exploiting, protecting and operating in the world’s oceans. First established in 1969, the flagship event in London features the world’s largest exhibition for marine science and technology, multiple agenda-setting technical conferences, and a visiting vessels and waterside demonstration program.

The Oceanology International portfolio includes

  • Oceanology International China: Developed with government and industry associations, Oceanology International China provides organizations with the opportunity to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing offshore energy and marine industries. With 215 exhibitors from 20 different countries, more than 5000 domestic and overseas professional attendees from 32 different countries and regions were attracted to OI China 2015.
  • Oceanology International: Oceanology International is the leading conference and exhibition dedicated to serving all professionals working in the global ocean science and marine technology sector. The first Oceanology International was held in Brighton, in 1970. Today, it’s home is at ExCeL London. The OI2016 exhibition was the largest ever in the show’s 47-year history with over 8,500m2 occupied by 520 exhibiting companies from 33 countries.
  • Catch the Next Wave conference: Now in its fourth edition, Catch the Next Wave is an exclusive conference taking place alongside or as part of Oceanology International events globally. The most recent program in London took place at the prestigious Royal Institution, and the North American edition will form part of the OINA conference program on February 16th 2017. The event takes a longer-term view of the capabilities that will shape our future ability to explore, understand, exploit and protect the oceans.
  • Oceanology International North America (February 14-16 2017, San Diego Convention Center, USA) The launch event of the biennial series is taking place in 2017.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 30 countries. In 2015, Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 40 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and $1M Anu and Naveen Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit

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